Schotte, Marilyn Invertebrate Zoology Department, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:December 2018
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An order of invertebrate malacostracan crustaceans, including aquatic and terrestrial forms. The members of the order Isopoda (subclass Eumalacostraca, class Malacostraca, subphylum Crustacea, phylum Arthropoda) are commonly termed isopods. The closest relatives are the amphipods, mysids (opossum shrimps), cumaceans, and tanaids, which are placed together with isopods in the superorder Peracarida. Isopods are generally small, but they are very common and highly diversified. They occur in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats. Woodlice (Fig. 1), sow bugs, and pill bugs (which all belong to the suborder Oniscidea), as well as their marine relatives (for example, gribbles and sea slaters), are notable representatives of the Isopoda group. See also: Arthropoda; Crustacea; Eumalacostraca; Malacostraca; Peracarida
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